How to Repair Wall Damage Caused By Water
When you start to spot flakes of paint chips on the walls of your home, it is not necessarily a sign to simply redecorate. Issues of this type can be indicative of wall decay resulting from undiscovered damage caused by water infiltration. Potentially responsible for far more than mere surface discolorations, leaks that fester for a long period can permeate entire sections of drywall. If water damage in walls of a house is allowed to continue indefinitely, the inside or outside base layers of the wall can be destroyed and separated from the wood beneath, which can then play host to dangerous mold growth.
The best scenario is to identify leaks of this type prior to visible crumbling. Rather than descending into panic, it is far better to review the following tips for repairing wall damage of this type.
Determine the Leak’s Source
The first thing to do is to pinpoint the spot from which the water is originating. When that is done, repair the leak and give the plaster time to thoroughly dry prior to starting additional work. Should the leak prove impossible to find yourself, it is unwise to start any sort of paint repair work. Damage of this type will surely come back again if the issue underlying the symptoms is not fully addressed. Under such circumstances, it is best to secure the help of professionals. When the source of the leak has been determined, set about repairing the leak.
Eliminate Layers of Damaged Surface
Take a putty knife and use a scraping motion to remove all damaged plaster. This may require you to dig a bit, but continue on until hard plaster is hit. If you find that there is no end to the damaged layers, the harm done to your wall is far more serious. When this occurs it will be necessary to reapply plaster to the lath, also known as the wood slats used to build the wall’s structure.
Eradicate All Dust
Should you succeed in hitting a hard surface underneath the damaged layers, work to clean the area. Shop vacs and strong brushes are great for getting debris and dirt away from plaster surfaces, and a dampened sponge can eliminate deposited lime. After this stage is complete, the wall must be allowed to dry once more.
In order to stop residual water from leeching back through, it is wise to coat the dried surface with a product meant to prime and seal. To achieve optimal protection, use oil-based products for this step. Quick-dry formulations will only require one or two hours for full drying of the wall. If a more conventional product is used, let drying continue for no less than 24 hours.
The wall will now need to be leveled and the missing spots of plaster filled back in with thin applications of joint compound. A quarter-inch coat is a good place to start. Joint knives are ideal for this purpose, and motions that are parallel in nature will help produce the smooth surface desired. Allow sufficient setting time for the compound and then use a 120-grit sand paper on the surface. Keep repeating these steps until the rebuilt area stands level with all surrounding surfaces.
After following the tips found above, it will not be time to repaint your wall surface. Take care to remove any remaining dust and use a primer coat beneath your chosen color. If your walls have in fact sustained severe water damage, stay with us to learn more.
In order to make the water repair process easier in the future, you may contact specialist companies like 24/7WaterDamageAtlanta.com that repairs water damaged walls to detect leaks early on and prevent the water damage from getting out of hand.